Images: Street View
IN THIS BUILDING / GEORGE WASHINGTON / WAS ENTERTAINED / APRIL 25, 1791. / HERE ALSO HENRY CLAY / WAS A GUEST APRIL 9, 1844. / NEW HANOVER HISTORICAL COMMISSION / A.J. HOWELL, E.S. MARTIN, / JAMES SPRUNT, W.A. McGIRT.
In Wilmington, President Washington was received by a welcome party and a 45-gun salute. He stayed at the home of Mrs. John Quince, which was located very near the location of the marker. The original residence planned for the President's lodging became unavailable, and apparently Mrs. Quince graciously offered her home to the President at the last minute. During the evening, Washington was treated to a military parade throughout a town illuminated in his honor. And a ball was given in his honor at the Assembly Hall.
Henry Clay made a presidential campaign stop in Wilmington in April 1844. James Sprunt reported that he arrived on a steamer to be greeted by a large crowd and was then escorted to his lodging at the home of Mrs. Joseph A. Hill on the southeast corner of Front and Dock Streets. He was then escorted to the Potter Mansion on Market street where he gave a speech from the balcony. That evening a ball was given in his honor at the Carolina Hotel and Masonic Hall, and the next morning he left by train for Raleigh.
There are several stone markers across North Carolina that commemorate President George Washington's tours of the Southern States in 1791. Notable among them are the George Washington Boulder outside Lexington, the George Washington Tree Marker in Hampstead outside Wilmington, and a stone marker at Guilford Courthouse.
Little appears to be known about the activities of the New Hanover County Historical Commission and their installation of similar small stone markers commemorating historical locations throughout Wilmington.
11 July 2014 | Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina